Welcome to Day 2 of translating spring's trends. 
Did you know there are actually "trend pushers" out there?  Folks trying to push certain looks and oddly enough, I usually see the term associated with the oddest or most unflattering looks.  Like this one...
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Alexander Wang


Um... No.  Just, no.

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If you're wanting to incorporate the cutouts trend, this, as opposed to the first look, is lovely.  Strategically placed yet still avoiding the "my sweater is falling apart" look.

Should you invest?  I wouldn't unless you think it's the coolest thing you've ever seen.  There are much better ways to defrump. Especially don't bother investing if you're just going to get something you have to put a coverage-T underneath. Besides, if you're handy with a sewing machine and scissors, and have lightweight knit on hand you don't want to wear anymore, you could DIY this and try it out.

This particular outfit showcases two trends... the cutouts and painterly prints.  Soft and Monet-esque, like this skirt or...

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BCBG

higher contrast and bolder like this dress.

I love prints.  An all-solid wardrobe is boring.  But prints become dated much faster than solids.  So if you love the artsy quality of these prints, choose an item with a timeless cut.  That way, the style of the top or dress will keep it wearable.  If this dress were a good 6 inches longer, it would be a great example of a sleek cut to wear year after year, combined with a current print.

And DON'T pull out your splatter-paint styles from the '80's.  Wrong interpretation of this trend.

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Derek Lam


Do I really need to say it?  Nein!! 
Any trend with the word "pantsless" in it is just wrong.

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Burberry


But a solid two thumbs up?  Military and safari styles are always welcome and well-used in a stylish woman's wardrobe.  The juxtaposition of masculine and feminine is fabulous.


Look for style details like double-breasted and epaulets...

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Macy's



... or olive drab and braided trim...

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Gap


... or breast pockets and a tight row of buttons like this adorable infantry jacket!

Just remember - you're going for military.  Not marching band. 

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www.armynavyshop.com

A very simple way to adopt this style (I wouldn't even call it a trend.  It always works!) is the authentic military belt. 

The rugged material and metal grommets add just the right touch of tough to otherwise girly looks.  I like the double prong style myself.

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www.armynavyshop.com


But there is also the single prong style.  Both for about $6 or $7 dollars.

Wearing it as a belt to your jeans, with a plain T and sneakers is a little too standard.  Too tomboy.  But pair it with a really girly piece and you've got yourself the perfect mix of masculine and feminine.  Very fun!  Decidedly non-frumpy! 

 
 
Ah... spring.  When the whole world reawakens and lightens up.  Depending on where you live, spring may have sprung a month ago or may still be biding its time.  We thought spring had sprung around here... and then it snowed yesterday.  Yes, it's May 25th and it snowed.  I had to quickly cover the herbs and tomato plants I had just planted this weekend.  Poor little things.

But whether you've been wearing your spring fashions for a while or are still stuck in a sweater - this week we're translating the spring trends that have been going on.  The hits and misses.  What you should definitely incorporate into your wardrobe, what you can tweak, and what to avoid like the pox.

According to Kaboodle.com, these are some of the items you simply can't live without this spring.
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A straw fedora a 'la Lindsay Lohan. 
Can't live without?  I'm sorry.  I couldn't live WITH myself if I walked down the street trying to look like Lindsay Lohan.  I have no problem with straw hats, sun protection is a must, but the comparison to this actress, whose taste in clothing the last several years I greatly dislike, kind of killed the fedora for me.  Besides - what is the narrow brim of a fedora supposed to do for me?

Choose a sunhat that actually provides some protection and wear it knowing you're staving off wrinkles just a little longer.

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Yep.  Love their suggestion of a breezy scarf!  It helps during those wonky weeks when it's gusty and chilly early on in the day and warm later. 
When choosing a "breezy" scarf make sure that adjective fits both the material and color.  A light springy color in heavy wool will not work.

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A bright handbag.
Somehow, this navy blue bag doesn't seem to fit the "bright" description. 

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THIS little number from DSW, on the other hand, says "I'm loving spring!"
Bright without being boisterous.  Choose a color you love and use it for many years until it gives up the ghost.

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Nude heels. 
A definite two thumbs up! But for the love of your wardrobe do NOT choose this dowdy pair that Kaboodle went with.  Oy! 

A strappy nude sandal will work with any outfit, makes your legs look loooong, and is much more flattering than these stumpy dumpy heels. 

Try a pair like this...

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Nordstrom $89.95


Don't forget - when choosing a nude heel, make sure it's YOUR nude. 
Skin tones vary greatly.  Choose a nude that closely matches your leg. Do NOT assume that a "dark tan" shoe will somehow make your legs look tan.  Doesn't work that way.

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A neon watch.
Maybe.  I enjoy fun wrist wear, but if you don't collect watches like bracelets, then a trendy watch may quickly find its way to the forgotten corner of your accessories box and then it's just wasted money.

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A classic trench.
Of course! A must-have in every wardrobe because it is so unbelievable versatile.



But it you want to incorporate a little more color and fun into your wardrobe...

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Nordstrom

Try a short trench in a kicky color.  Like this delightful little number from Nick & Mo on sale at Nordstrom right now for $38!

Stay tuned!  More spring trends coming tomorrow!
 
 
Today is the final part of the answer to the following question submitted to Ask Image Interpreters:  I am going on a two week trip to Europe but do not want to lug a heavy bag. What and how much would you suggest I take. I always take way too much and still have nothing to wear. I am going to Germany and Switzerland in June...
A follow-up question to my first answer asked for recommendations for her husband traveling with her so that's what we're covering today.  And at the end, I have two items for the ladies that I forgot in the last post, as well as a few other questions to answer.

The luggage, packing tools, and packing tips we covered in the last post count for the men as well.  My husband and I have no problem fitting both our things in a single carry-on.  It means only the addition of his jacket, toothbrush, one pair of undies, neck pouch, and reading material.

Here are wardrobe items to avoid...
No matter how old or young you are, there's no need to profess your undying love for your favorite team while traveling.  And unless you're one of our amazing soldiers heading to or from active duty, camo print is not appropriate either.
 
Here are some suggestions for traveling in comfort and style.  Remember - it's the type and # of item that is important.  Raid your closet before you go shopping.
For a summer trip like this one, men should take one to two more shirts than their female counterparts and a few more pairs of socks.  Men tend to sweat more than women and the extra shirt and socks are helpful. 
  • A lightweight, waterproof jacket.  Pack this in the carry-on.
  • A casual sport coat.  Gives you that stylish bump that so many men are missing nowadays, and fits the bill if you decide to seek out a fancy restaurant for dinner. Wear this on the plane.
  • 5 to 6 shirts.  They don't all have to be long-sleeved dress shirts.  Linen travels wonderfully, cotton polos as well.  A baseball style t-shirt is casual without being schlumpy.  Shirts with a little stretch help you avoid ironing.
  • 2 pants.  My husband often skips the jeans and packs a pair of dark trousers with the chinos.  If you're a shorts guy - pack tailored bermudas over cargo or jean shorts.
  • 1 pj. You never know when you might need to run down the hall for ice!
  • 5 to 6 socks.  Fewer if you're packing sandals.
  • 5 to 6 underwear.
  • A hat you would wear on a hot day.
  • Sunglasses, watch, and belt.
  • If you're planning on fancier restaurants or activities, slip a tie in your bag!  
  • The same neck pouch I suggested for the women.  Your wallet in your pocket can be too easily pilfered.  
  • Nook-style neck pillow as suggested previously.
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Both shoes at DSW.com
A loafer & sneaker-style casual shoe.
For some reason, the shoes didn't want to show up properly in my collage.  So here they are.  A comfortable loafer makes it easy to negotiate security at the airport.  A sneaker-style lace-up covers the casual side of your outfits but still looks nice.

A word on athletic sandals!  There are definitely viable sandal options out there for men but if you plan on wearing them - you better make sure your feet are viewer worthy.  There's zero shame in getting a pedicure, at the very least, your wife can help you tidy up your tootsies.

For your dopp kit - refer to the suggestions in the last post, minus the feminine specific items. 

Two things I forgot in the last post...
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DKNY Smoothies - $15 Nordstrom

For the women... Bike Shorts!! 

In my first answer last week to this question, I promised you a tip for how to wear skirts when traveling and I forgot to include it.  Bike shorts (without the authentic seat padding) are a skirt's best friend. They make it easier to sit and you don't have worry about gusts of wind flashing your fancies to the public.  If it's really hot out... skip the bike shorts and enjoy the breeze! 

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Travel-size bottle of Febreze!!

They're making progress, but European's still smoke quite a bit.  A little spray bottle of Febreze eliminates the stink lickety split!  Just spritz your clothes at night and the next morning you'll be good to go.

A few answers to questions I received from the previous posts.
  1. Yes, it's fine to get a TSA approved luggage lock.  I haven't yet, because I bought my luggage before those came out.  I just leave it unlocked during travel and lock it at the hotel.  With my passport in it!
  2. Travel candles are sometimes more trouble than they're worth. It's handy that they come in little tins with lids and they definitely help in musty or odd-smelling hotel rooms.  But you're not supposed to pack lighters and TSA agents often confiscate matches as well.  So that leaves you hunting for something at your destination.  If you're worried about being sensitive to smells, pack a TS spray freshener.
I hope you found this 3-part answer helpful.  It was so much fun to write and I hope you have a fantastic trip!
 
 
Definitely more of a delay than I wanted between the first Traveling in Style post and this sequel but, rather than write a million words, I wanted to do a vlog showing you how to pack and this morning we finally had time to film.   

Part One covered WHAT to pack, avoiding typical tourist clothing traps, and escaping the pitfalls of over-packing.  Today we're covering HOW to pack it all and by further request, Part 3 will cover the Men's Edition of what to pack.

The essential luggage pieces to cover almost any travel scenario are:
  •  24" to 27" expandable wheeled upright
  • 20" expandable wheeled carry-on
  • boarding tote
For a two-week Europe trip you should be able to comfortably pack in the small rolling suitcase and carry-on tote. Some people like a wheeled duffel because they flatten nicely for storage, but I find them much harder to pull.  And they're not very stylish.  I toss my tote into my carry-on, the carry-on into the big upright, and they store beautifully.

In case you're wondering about what luggage to invest in, my favorite brand is Briggs & Riley, not that they even know I exist.  They have a lovely life-time guarantee.  No matter what happens to your bag, your fault, my fault, nobody's fault, they repair it. If you're fast, you can score that great little Boarding Tote for less than $100.  It's been discontinued, which is a shame. My 20" carry-on that you'll see in the video is a Tumi I picked up on a great sale and it's been a champ. 

The above three items have been my packing best friends for many years. 
(Above are the versions currently available.) 
  • The absolutely indispensable - Eagle Creek Packing Envelope.  Purchase the size that will fit in your smallest suitcase.  Mine is an 18".
  • Eagle Creek Packing Cube.  It's double sided, with one side lined to hold wet or dirty clothes. Comes in half and quarter sizes as well.
  • Tri-fold, vinyl covered, hanging toiletry kit.  Counter space can be hard to come by in some hotel bathrooms, so the ability to hang your kit and have everything handy is crucial.
Before you watch the video, don't forget, you're wearing one of your complete outfits when you fly out.  There is no separate "airplane outfit".  What you wear comes from the items I suggested yesterday. 

And now I'm proud to present... my hands!

Fascinating, right?  Thoughts on hair tools.  On one of my trips to Germany several years ago, I hit my wall where adapters were concerned.  No matter how much I spent, they all burned out my curling irons or fell out of the plugs. So I walked to the nearest apothecary and grabbed the inexpensive blow dryer/curling brush combo you just saw.  Reaching my limit with the adapters also brought an epiphany that I didn't need to do anything but my simplest hairstyle when I was traveling.  For me, that meant washing it at night and using the dryer/curler to put a sleek bend in the ends in the morning.  It was life altering, that epiphany. And I've never spent a dime on another adapter.  Today, you can find hairdryers with European plugs on Amazon for around $40. 
True traveling nirvana.  Now back to the show...
Before our final vlog, I should point out that the 2 year old you're about to hear made off with my sunglasses, hat, camera case, and snacks.  So don't forget to put those in your carry-on as well!  I also didn't flash my underwear around in the video, but it's smart to tuck a pair in there (packing the other 4 pair in your cube).  When my luggage didn't make it to Poland until the day after I did, I was glad I had that pair of undies.

Am I serious about the snacks?  Definitely! Just a few energy bars, an apple and sandwich.  It's a long flight! Airport food can be fatty and expensive.  And you REALLY don't want to be stuck buying the limited airplane offerings if you're not flying at least business class.  You'll also notice I didn't put in any water.  Can't get past TSA with it unless it's sealed so purchase it after you get through security.  But definitely get some!  Dehydration makes jetlag much worse.
I'm about to use the initials TS a lot.  It stands for "travel size."  And all soaps or liquids should be in ziplock baggies.  Contains the leaks, easy to rinse out.

In your toiletry kit you should pack:
  • TS body wash or bar soap & net scrubby
  • TS shampoo and conditioner (don't count on each hotel having them)
  • Body butter (never leaks, unlike lotion, and a little goes a long way)
  • TS hair gel (or whatever product you use for your simplest hairstyle)
  • Sunscreen!
  • TS toothpaste & floss
  • Deodorant
  • Nail file or small nail clippers
  • A few Q-tips
  • A few band-aids for walking blisters
  • Razor & TS size shaving cream
  • Small pkg of powdered laundry soap. These are easy to find at a laundromat or drug store. Even gas stations! I few sprinkles in the sink and you'll have clean undies & socks.
  • In addition to this Stila Combo-Eye pen and mascara that you saw, I carry one other eyeshadow (a cream bronze that goes with everything) and SPF tinted moisturizer.  You can add in concealer, blush, and lipstick/gloss, but traveling is not the place for your red-carpet face.  Fresh and simple is easy to do and looks best in pictures.
  • Supplies to deal with your monthly friend if necessary.
  • Any medications you're currently taking, including for seasonal allergies. Germany & Switzerland will be in full pollen bloom!
  • Imodium - for undesirable food episodes.  (Hello - oysters in Belgium!)
  • And finally, my Super-Duper-Jetlag-Slaying Travel Cocktail... Benadryl and Excedrin. The Benadryl taken at night helps you sleep in the new time zone, and the Excedrin in the morning wakes you up and takes care of any little headaches from the jetlag or unfamiliar bed.  Take that combo the first few days and before you know it - you'll be acclimated!  If you already use sleeping pills, then take those instead of the Benadryl.  Better traveling through chemistry, I say!
Final points to consider.
  • If you don't freeze easily, you can eliminate the sweater layer.  The pashmina & lightweight trench will have you covered.
  • Someone asked about an umbrella.  Sure, TS sized ones are easy to pack but for me they often end up never leaving my hotel.  Invariably, it'll be sunny when we head out and won't rain until later.  My trench keeps me from getting soaked.
  • Make sure your camera is charged & the memory is clear!
  • Make sure you have your passport.
  • Pack AT LEAST the day before.  It'll help you remember things.
  • Check in online, even if you don't print out your boarding pass.
  • I sometimes get asked why I don't take a purse to "hide" my camera in. Because a purse is a bigger target than a camera! In one fell swoop everything could be stolen, not JUST my camera.  The neck pouch I discussed last time keeps everything tucked away and I just watch out for my camera.  I'd hate to have it stolen but it is much easier to replace than my credit card and ID.
  • Have a flexible itinerary.  It is smart to plan out what you'll be doing and where you'll be staying on your trip, but take your guidebook with you so that if something catches your eye or a local refers you to something, you can make a little detour.
  • Pack a deck of cards in your carry-on.  Because when you travel... you travel!  If the plane is delayed, don't stress out.  Things will happen.  Reservations will be "lost", trains will be missed (are you catching all my personal experience here?) and it's ok.  It's an excuse for another round of cards, or another chapter in your book, or more people watching.